Minister's Directive and School Board Policy for Reporting Student Health and Safety Issues to Parents

Resolution Number: 

2011-05
Resolution

WHEREAS schools, under the Occupational Health & Safety Act, are required to form an OHSC Connnittee that meets monthly, keeps a record of these meetings, and reports to the OHS officer, and

WHEREAS the responsibility for student health lies with School Boards and ultimately, the Department of Health under the direction of the Chief Public Health Officer, and

WHEREAS there is a need fbr School Boards and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development to be transparent and communicate any and all health and safety issues to parents and each school's Occupational Health & Safety Committee as soon as health issues arise in schools, and

WHEREAS once a possible health issue has been identified by either the Occupational Health & Safety Committee (OHSC) or someone reporting to the OHSC, there is a responsibility to report immediately to parents as well as employees in that school;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the PEIHSF requests the Minister o f Education and Early Childhood Development to develop a Minister's Directive requiring parents be informed immediately when any potential health issue has been made known to, or identified by, a School Occupational Health & Safety Committee that impacts children in schools by September 1, 2011, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the PEIHSF requests School Boards to develop policy requiring that parents be informed immediately when any potential health issue has been made known to, or identified by, a School Occupational Health & Safety Committee that impacts children in schools by September 1, 2011

Consideration

Status: 

Passed
Saturday, April 16, 2011

Destination: 

Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
English Language School Board
French Language School Board
Responses Received

Responses: 

Education and Early Childhood Development:  The Department is a strong advocate for the health and safety of a school is work carried out by the Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee.  This committee is required under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.  I have requested that a parent representative be allowed to participate on this committee.  This request has been forwareded to teh Worker's Compensation Board for consideration.  The Act mandates the composition of the committee and as such does not contemplate such a request.  I am confident that the addition of a parent representative, if not already in place by the time you received this letter, will be in place shortly.

Eastern School District:  The Eastern School District will have a parent representative from each Home and School Association serve as an observer on each School Joint Occupational Health and Safety committee as of Septmember 1, 2011.  The representaive will be nominated by their local Home and School and will serve as an observer on the committee but will not have voting rights.  Each parent representative will be responsible for reporting to their local Home and School membership on a monthly basis.

Joan Moore-Denis, School Safety Consultant, has been working with the PEI Home and School Federaiton over the past few months to develop the observer and selection processes associated with the position.  The Eastern School District is confident that the inclusion of a Home and School representative on the Joint Occupational Health and Safety committees at schools thorughout the District will result in improved communication flow of health and safety related issues between parents and schools.

Western School Board:  In May 2011 all Western School Board schools were instructed that effective September 1, 2011 a parent representative from each local Home & School *H&S) Committee is to become a members of each school Joint Occupational Health & Safety (JOSH) Committee.  To that end, the following points:

  • Each parent representative shall be nominated by their local H&S membership.  It is recognized that a school staff member may also be a H&S members, therefore, through the nomination process, it is conceivable that the parent representative and staff member may be one and the same.
  • All JOHS members, including parent representatives, are encouraged to commit for a minimum of a two year term with a maximum of four years.
  • The name of the parent representative shll be submitted by the school principal to the School Safety Consultant (Joan Moore-Dennis) by June 30th each year.  The School Safety Consultant  will forward each name to the Preisdent of the PEI Home & School Federation.
  • The role of the parent representative will be that of an observer and liaison.  The parent representative will have no voting rights.
  • JOHS meetings will be held monthly at each school between September and June.
  • The schedule of monthly JOHS meetings will be decided by each school committee.  Parent participation will accommodate the schedule agreed upon by the school JOHS Committee.
  • Mohthly records of discussion (outstanding items only) will be submitted to the School Safety consultant for follow up, if necessary, by the school board property manager.
  • Parent representatives will reprot monthly to their local Home & School membership.
  • Parent representatives will participate in annual H&S inspections of their school.
  • Parent representatives will be informed immediately if/when any potential health risks are identified that may impact children in the school.
  • JOHS Committees, including the parent represntative, will receive training from the School Safety Consultant in the fall of 2011 (and subsequent years as deemed necessary) in the following areas:  terms of reference, roles and responsibilities, interpretation of the PEI Occupational Health & Safety Act, Provincial Schools Health & Safety Manual, School inspections, reporting and documentation of incidents and potential issues, etec.
  • Any expense incurred by a parent representative through attendance at monthly meetings and/or training sesions will be the sole responsibility of the local Home & School and/or parent representative.
  • If parent representation on school JOHS Committees become problematic for any reason, consultation with the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, President of the PEI Home & School Federation, School Safety Consultant, School Board Representatives and /or the Provincial Director of Occupational Health and Safety shall be considered, to discuss and resolve where necessary.